Saturday, 15 November 2008

Spreading the word about WordlCALL

Today there were educational sessions at the Escuela de Lenguas of the National University of La Plata celebrating its 15th anniversary. The teachers who belong to the School staff shared the experiences or research works they have carried out this year. The sessions were grouped into three sections: ICT, Literature and Linguistics.

As you may imagine, I took part in the ICT sessions ;-)
In this opportunity, I spoke about WorldCALL - what it is and its aims- and made a brief description of the latest trends presented in Fukuoka. Of course, I showed a picture of the awarded ladies in their kimonos!!!!

I was not alone , Jennifer Verschoor came from Buenos Aires to La Plata. Together we spoke about ARCALL (CALL Argentina) and our intention to fulfill our intention of spreading WorldCALL work.

This is the power point presentation. Unfortunatelly the background is blue in slideshare :-(

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Another class in SL

Last Monday was my last class in this teacher training course at Language Lab. It was quite different from the others because it was in pairs: one played the role of a leader teacher and the other was a helper. I gave the class with Jennifer. We were leader and helper in turns. It was interesting and difficult at the same time because we had to coordinate our roles.

We chose a very simple dialogue: "Quiero un helado". Just five lines with very simple language. The class was in " La Plaza Mayor" of Ciudad Bonita - the place which Language Lab is building for the Spanish as Second Language Courses. It looks like a Spanish city. There is a market, restaurants,banks, shops, a church and even a graveyard! Dafne Gonzalez is helping architects in this project. You can have a look at the photos below.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.BubbleShare: Share photos - Craft Ideas

I was also exploring some other lands, I bought clothes, furniture and wings for free. I took some pictures and attended Gavin's talk.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

My fourth week in Second Life

Well, this is my fourth active week in Second Life. I had to present a dialogue in the "simulation" class. I used a box with notecards with all the necessary material for the students, the board with different texts and the typist for a game.

Then, Dafne showed us a presentation she gave about the differences between online classes and classes in SL. Finally, we visited "Ciudad Bonita". The place where people will learn Spanish as a Second Language at Language Lab. "Ciudad Bonita" resembles a typical Spanish city. It is not finished but looks really beautiful. Dafne is doing a great job.

Here is a slide show of the this week. Click on it because the text bubbles cannot be seen very well.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Craft Ideas

Friday, 17 October 2008

My Third Week in Second Life

This third week has been vey interesting. We learnt to manage new tools such as a flat screen. I feel more confident with my movements and have been exploring new lands.
I met Nergiz and had a lovely chat in her house.

Then she showed the places around.

After our chat, I stayed for a while exploring the place and touching the objects.

Finally I found a book to read.

I could not avoid changing my appearance. I went shopping and got some new appearances and clothes. Have you noticed I changed my look?

Evelyn and I wanted to earn some money to buy some images for our flat screens, so we went to a disco. You can earn money dancing. Here you can see me in a disco.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

My Second Week in Second Life

This is my second week in the super intensive training course at Language Lab. I have been pretty busy working with the new tools and investigating the virtual world. There is always a "helper" ( an avatar who helps you) at the entrance of Language Lab to help you with the tools. DaQ ( a helper from USA) took me shopping for free! Yes, ladies. Can you imagine? This is paradise! You can buy clothes for free!!! So, I bought lots of clothes and shoes. Oh, and you can also buy different hairstyles. This is how I look now:

I designed a lesson plan for beginner learners of Spanish as a Second Language. I was supposed to give a 10 minute class, and I was terribly nervous. Believe it or not, after having taught English for 15 years. Fortunatelly, I was not the only nervous one. My colleagues felt the same.
For this first Second Life class, I chose the topic "Colores". I designed a detailed plan, some objects to be used in a game, and rehearsed what I was planning to do in the different places at Language Lab, I mean using the tools: presenting the objects and using the board.
Here are some photos of what happened during the class:

BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

My life in Second Life

My dream has become true. I am living in Second Life. At present I am taking an intensive training course at Language Lab. I can walk, fly and move around more fluently. I have got some new clothes and objects. And what is more important I have friends: Evelyn (Venezuela) and Jennifer (Argentina). And very good teachers: Dafne (Venezuela)and Ana (Italy) .Here is a picture of me in class:

And here you can see some photos taken by Dafne.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Craft Kits

And in this picture you can see Evelyn and me having a coffee in a break.

Friday, 15 August 2008

WorldCall 2008 Fukuoka Japan

WorldCall 2008 in Fukuoka, Japan has been an incredible experience! I cannot say what was the best part of it.

WorldCall committee and all the people involved were so kind and efficient ! I would like to say thank you to Thomas Robb for his immence patience and kindness, Prof. Akio Iwasaki and Hisako Yamauchi, Mike Levy among others.

Meeting Webheads was fantastic! Most of the awardees were Webheads: Erika Cruvinel (Brazil), Hala Fawzi (Sudan), Neny Isharyanti (Indonesia), Evelyn Izquierdo (Venezuela), Nina Lyulkun (Ukraine), Jennifer Verschoor and I (Argentina). We also met Vance Stevens.

Webheads ladies formed a very nice and noisy group. We laughed a lot and had a great time talking about ourselves, families, work, dreams and projects.

Link to WorldCALL 2008 blog

Vance's presentation with Rita, Sasha and me.
Poster Presentation with Jennifer Verschoor

Saturday, 26 July 2008

A Radio Interview

Jennifer and I were interviewed about Web 2.0 and our scholarship to Japan last month by Mario Sarlengue for Radio Universidad de La Plata.

This interview was in Spanish - sorry Webheads :(
Anyway, I would like to share it with you. Click on the links below, turn on your speakers and listen to our wonderful voices :-)

Part one
Part two

Enjoy the interview. Nelba

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Getting Ready for Japan

Dear Writing Matrix participants:

I am sorry I have been absent for some time... but I have a good excuse. I am getting ready to my trip to Japan. I got a scholarship for the Congress about Technology applied to Language Learning. The Congress will take place in Fukuoka.

I am going to travel with three more Webheads: Jennifer, Evelyn and Erika. We are going to meet some other Webheads in Japan , too: Hala, Nina and Vance!

I will keep you informed about this wonderful experience in a new blog.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

RSS and Bloglines

We had a chat on RSS and Bloglines today. Unfortunatelly, I did not record it. So, I will try to summarize what we said.

What is RSS? It is an acronym that stand for Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Sindication. An RSS "feed" is a type of electronic file written in the XML formatting language (similar to HMTL, but with user-defined parameters), which contains information about content on a website or weblog.
Weblogs and news sites are the most common use of RSS feeds. When new content is added to a blog or website, that contect is automatically updated to every subscriber of that RSS feed.
1-Most aggresgator programs are free and can be easily obtained on the Internet. Example: Bloglines , Google Reader, Mozilla Thunderbird
2-RSS is one of the most timely and cost-effective forms of professional development.
3- It is time saving. You can track more information in a short period of time.
4- If you are subscribed to different parts of the news world , you will be able to compare and contrast it.
5- Teachers can share some information with other colleagues.
6- Teachers can follow his/her students blog.
Further reading: Writing Matrix Wiki
I got a comment by Elizabeth Hanson-Smith ( a Webhead) about how she uses RSS:
Long ago found I just didn't get around to visiting a place likeBloglines to read RSS feeds, so instead I use <http://Feedblitz. com>which emails me any time there is new material on a blog, Web page,wiki, etc. So the feed comes to me, rather than my having to gosomewhere to find it.I have a FeedBlitz "button" on my Firefox browser for quick and easylinking, and FeedBlitz tells you immediately if you have anRSS-addressable link. The only inconvenience is that sometimes I haveto "View Page Source" to find the RSS address, and copy and paste itinto FeedBliz.Cheers----Elizabeth

Thursday, 15 May 2008


How can you find others using the same tags you've placed in your posts? Well, open an account in Technorati

What is Technorati? It is an Internet search engine for searching blogs, competing with Google, Yahoo and IceRocket. (More Info at

  • Go to Tecnorati at
  • Open an account
  • Go to "My Account"
  • Click on the "Blogs" tab
  • Go to "Claim a Blog" and write your blog url
  • You'll see "Begin Claim" and will get a choice for next step, just pick the simpler, "Post Claim".
  • Activate the claim using "post claim".
  • Follow Instructions.
  • Once you have successfully claimed your blog, complete the Edit Blog Settings form, where you'll need to write the tags that will describe yours, and HERE, include wrtingmatrix.
  • When done, you'll see "My Claimed Blogs". Click on "Ping".
    You can now check for your blog's new content. There's no need to "Automate this", as this option will demand some knowledge of html. Your blog will now appear in your "Blog Directory search". (from Rita's article in WritingMatrix wiki)

I have found the following post about Technorati at

I asked WM teachers :"Do you agree agree or not with the article , and why?" Opinions about Technorati by WM teachers:

Rita Zeinstejer : "Technorati can be a very good tool for stds provided they know how to use it, when to use it, where to use it. And it's up to teachers to show them how to find out about it."

Vance Stevens: "I don't have much experience with technorati. I teach a course whose coursebook is here: try to expand the students' notion of search beyond Google.

I make a lot of use of Technorati is mentioned there as are other Google search tools.\I think I would agree that it's not that useful to students unless they are familiar with the concept of tagging and work in a field where bloggers are common (such as the field of education and social networking) and where these bloggers will tag their posts.I think teachers should get familiar with it first and then they can think of ways to use it with their students."

And you? What is your opinion?

Sunday, 11 May 2008

My Experience presenting WM at USAL on line Workshops

From May 5th to 9th, the University of El Salvador (Argentina) held online Wokshops in Spanish on different topics related to EAD ( Distance Education).

I presented Writing Matrix Project in Spanish on May 7th...

and received some very good comments:

Hola al grupo! Hola Nelba:
Leí tu presentación. Me pareció interesantísima y narrada además con mucho entusiasmo.Cuando concluya el evento visitaré sitios sugeridos por vos y haré una nueva lectura con tranquilidad.(Al menos es lo que deseo!) Reitero: el proyecto de ustedes es genial! ...Quedamos en diálogo.Un saludo afectuoso.Graciela Lima Silvain. Universidad Nacional de San Luis. Argentina.

Nelba, he "disfrutado" de tu ponencia y accedido al blog. Es realmente una experiencia destacada desde el planteo pedagógico y disciplinar, el grado de interacción con los alumnos... impresionante!!! Un ejemplo en la utilización de todos los recursos de la "red social", gracias por compartirlo... !!!!
Un cordial saludo desde Mendoza, Marcela

Nelba (soy uno de los coordinadores de este foro), y me pareció sumamente interesante tu intervención ya que relata una experiencia muy clara y concreta sobre la aplicación de herramientas de la Web 2.0 en la educación, y evalúa resultados.

La explicación de las etiquetas me interesó mayormente. En la introducción de su ponencia, María Alonso Naveiro y Antonio Torralba Burrial, entre varias características que definen Internet, hablan de "el mayor reservorio de información que existe", así que necesariamente tenemos que preocuparnos por las búsquedas: cómo buscar y cómo ser buscados en este mundo, cómo no perdernos en el laberinto. Lic. Julián Martínez Vázquez

There were participants from Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Venezuela and some other countries. It was carried out in the platform of the University. It worked fantastically and the moderators were really good.

There were very good articles, but what called my attention was how wary Argentinian participants are towards Web 2.0. In general, they are a reluctant to completely on line courses and prefer blended ones because they think that face to face contact is really necessary for a successful learning process. They neither like the idea of using Second Life.

In a way, I felt "different". As a Webhead, I am always exploring new tools to adapt my teaching to the technological advances, but Argentinians seem to distrust ICTs. They do not refuse them, but do not accept them either.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

First Chat Session of the year

Last Saturday we had our first chat session of Writing Matrix Reloaded. Writing Matrix Reloaded group is pretty different from the one we had last year. Matías, Barbara, Joao and María Luján are still with us - LUCKILY- , the new participants are all teachers: Beyza from Turkey, Berta from Venezuela, José Da Silva from Brazil and Liliana from Argentina.

The chat lasted and hour and it was about
tags and tagging, their use and purpose. Some teachers found it interesting and clarifying.

Writing Matrix Tagging in Youtube by Vance at:

Monday, 31 March 2008

Writing Matrix Re-Loaded 2008

Hello, everybody! Fasten your seatbelts becauseWriting Matrix Reloaded 2008 is about to take off!
Welcome on board, I hope you will enjoy this new ride on the Web 2.0.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Published articles about Writing Matrix

I am very happy to announce that an article about Writing Matrix - EVC group will be published soon in TESOL magazine.

Thanks to all EVC members who have participated, WM colleagues, Catherine Beck and TESOL magazine who made this possible :)

There is another article written by all the facilitators which will be published in TESL-EJ March 2008.

Enjoy the reading!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Scholarship to WIAOC 2008

I am very proud to tell you that I have been awarded for a scholarship to the congress WorldCALL 2008

To make things even better, Jennifer Vershoor is another of the awardees, so we are going to meet our Webheads friends in Fukuoka!!!

We are looking foward to meeting our Webheads mates.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Blog for People with Hearing Problems

I have created a blog for people who have lost part of their hearing ability. People with hearing problems are more than you can imagine.
So, if you read this post , please, spread the URL of this blog. Thank you.